The nation’s largest teachers union is pulling back on its once-enthusiastic support of the Common Core academic standards, labeling their rollout “completely botched.”
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said he still believes the standards can improve education. But he said they will not succeed without a major “course correction” — including possibly rewriting some of the standards and revising the related tests with teacher input.
“In far too many states, implementation has been completely botched,” Van Roekel wrote in a letter Wednesday afternoon to his more than 3 million members.
Van Roekel’s statement suggests quite a rocky road ahead for the Common Core standards, which are meant to instill more rigorous language arts and math instruction in public schools — and which have been a priority of the Obama administration.
Backers of the standards have been counting on teachers to be their ambassadors to a wary public. The standards are backed by business leaders and by both Republican and Democratic politicians. Yet poll after poll shows that parents trust teachers, above all, to do what’s right by their kids — and the NEA had pledged that its members would work hard to persuade parents to give the Common Core a chance.
Van Roekel, however, made clear that teachers are increasingly disillusioned.
In the past, he has repeatedly touted a survey indicating that three-quarters of his members support the new standards, which have been adopted in 45 states plus the D.C.